RAWALPINDI: Quetta Gladiators’ Jason Roy has termed his 145 not out against Peshawar Zalmi as his best T20 innings, adding it was also a great advert for the HBL Pakistan Super League.
Roy clobbered 20 fours and five sixes in a 63-ball blitz as the Gladiators chased down an improbable 241 for the loss of two wickets with 10 balls to spare to keep his side’s slim chances of qualifying for the play-offs alive.
“It was a great advert for the HBL PSL and T20 cricket. Obviously, bowlers don’t want to be turning up and playing on these wickets every single game, but people and kids are watching and loving this sort of a game. This is the sort of game I remember as a kid that really drew me to cricket and the people. For sure, this is the sort of stuff that excites, draws and attracts the next generation of players,” Roy said at the post-match press conference on Wednesday evening.
Roy became the highest individual scorer in HBL PSL, beating Colin Ingram’s 127 not out for Karachi Kings against Quetta Gladiators in 2019, as the Gladiators completed the fourth-highest T20 chase of all time. Roy’s 44-ball century was the second quickest in HBL PSL history after Rilee Rossouw’s 43-ball century for Multan Sultans against Quetta Gladiators in 2020. The match aggregate of 483 runs was the highest in HBL PSL history as well as in Asia, and seventh highest overall.
“It’s an incredible, incredible feeling. For me in T20 cricket, it’s up there as one of my favourite innings ever because I was there till the end. A lot of the times when I’ve batted in limited overs as an opening batter, I have scored a 100 and then I got out with 20 or so runs still required. But tonight, I was there till the end, which is an incredible feeling as an opening batter. Definitely this innings will live in my memory for a long time.
“We knew chasing 240 convincingly in 13 or 14 overs was probably out of reach. So, it was just a case of trying to hit as many fours and sixes as possible on a great wicket and fast outfield, and get close to the title and then see where we are at.
“In the change room, it was just one of those things that you’ve got to pad up, all the fear of failure goes out of the window and you just have a lot of fun with Martin Guptill, who has done it all around the world and scored thousands of runs. We walked out there very relaxed. We didn’t feel any pressure on our shoulders at all. And on that wicket with that crowd, it was electrifying.
“It has been a tough season for us and we’ve not been able to put together the performances we would have wanted to, but we’ve got a great group of people and they do a lot for me. So, I’m just really pleased I was able put a performance together to put some smiles on their faces.”
Roy heaped a lot of praise on Babar Azam, who scored 115 off 65 balls with 15 fours and three sixes at a strike-rate of almost 177 but still ended up on the losing side. It was Babar’s eighth century in T20 cricket, second most after Chris Gayle (22).
“That was an incredible (innings) to watch, unfortunately, it was against us. It’s the sort of stuff I’ve watched on TV loads of times, but to watch it firsthand was extremely special.
“Babar was helped extremely well from the other end with his opening partner (Saim Ayub), a youngster coming through. So, to watch it firsthand was very special, though he could have done with getting a little less to make it easier for us! It made for an incredible game of cricket, one that I’ll remember for the rest of my life, for sure.”